BobbyJames

NEW ALBUM: Western Stars - June 14

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On 10/31/2019 at 4:20 AM, Scott Peterson said:

So I just listened to Western Stars for the first time in a few weeks.  

Imagine you're Bruce Springsteen. Just for a moment, imagine that.

You've written "New York City Serenade." You've written "Jungleland." You’ve written "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Wreck on the Highway" and "Reason to Believe" and "My Hometown" and "Valentine’s Day." You’ve written "My Beautiful Reward" and you’ve written "My City of Ruins." You’ve written "Matamoros Banks" and "Devil's Arcade."

You've written some of the greatest album closers in the history of rock and roll. And not just because you're one of the greatest writers in the history of rock and roll—although you are—but because you not only understand the importance of sequencing, but are also a master of it.

And yet somehow, after all those—or perhaps because of them—years later you are still capable of writing "Moonlight Motel."

And then…you sit on it for five years. You just leave it in the can.

Because you're Bruce Springsteen.

If you're any other artist, you rush the thing out. Maybe you don't even wait for the rest of the album. You shove the song in the world's face and you scream, "Lookit! Lookit! Look what I can do! Look what I did!"

But you're Bruce Springsteen. So you don't do that. You just...wait. Until you've done a bunch of other stuff and you feel like the time is right to finish up this project and you do and it's a damn masterpiece.

And not of course it is. It's not a given.

There are a lot of truly great artists—absolute titans—who peaked and never again came close to being that great again. In fact, perhaps only Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash have ever come close to doing what Bruce Springsteen has done this century, which is to continue to write and record and release albums which can stand shoulder to shoulder with their very finest work—their very finest work being fine indeed: masterpieces, in fact.

The [mainly younger] guy who once wrote things like:

My father's house shines hard and bright
It stands like a beacon calling me in the night
Calling and calling, so cold and alone
Shining 'cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned

and

You've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above

and

Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

and

It was a small town bank
It was a mess
Well, I had a gun
You know the rest

and

They prosecuted some poor sucker in these United States
For teaching that man descended from the apes
They coulda settled that case without a fuss or fight
If they’d seen me chasin’ you, sugar, through the jungle last night

and

They died to get here a hundred years ago, they’re dyin’ now
The hands that built this country we’re always trying to keep down

and

If pa’s eyes were windows into a world so deadly and true
Ma, you couldn’t stop me from looking but you kept me from crawlin’ through

and

41 shots—and we’ll take that ride
Across this bloody river to the other side
41 shots—my boots caked in mud
We’re baptized in these waters and in each other’s blood

and

You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Until you spend half your life just covering up

and

As I lift my groceries into my car
I turn back for a moment and catch a smile
That blows this whole fucking place apart

and

Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn to walk like the heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time, to find we're just like all the rest

can still–can now—write a verse like this:

Now the pool's filled with empty, eight-foot deep
Got dandelions growin' up through the cracks in the concrete
Chain-link fence half-rusted away
Got a sign, says, "Children, be careful how you play"
Your lipstick taste and your whispered secret promised I'd never tell
A half-drunk beer and your breath in my ear
At the Moonlight Motel

And the only thing that could be even better than all this?

Is that he says he's going into the studio with the E Street Band soon for a new album

Well done, man !!

It shows what a one kind of artist Bruce is.

Thanks for reminding us this fact.

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53 minutes ago, Born To Walk said:

Capture.JPG

not completly sure what im looking at but i like the horse so i'll like the post :lol:

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7 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

not completly sure what im looking at but i lile the horse so i'll like the post :lol:

Mark Radcliffe, Presenter, seems to have chosen Bruce's album as album of the year.

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5 hours ago, Born To Walk said:

Capture.JPG

No prizes for album cover of the year, though.

Apparently, some people wear it on a t shirt. In public.

Wow.

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2 hours ago, Promise61 said:

Apparently, some people wear it on a t shirt. In public.

I love this cover.  Plan to get a t shirt at some point... 

And yes, I would proudly wear it in public.  

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4 hours ago, Promise61 said:

No prizes for album cover of the year, though.

Apparently, some people wear it on a t shirt. In public.

Wow.

Didn't you like Mr Ed when you were a kid ? ;)

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29 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

Didn't you like Mr Ed when you were a kid ? ;)

Who he, Daisy?

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3 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

Who he, Daisy?

from the year of your birth Mr Promise 

 

tenor-2.gif

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19 hours ago, Promise61 said:

Who he, Daisy?

the talking horse TV sitcom from the '60s.

Nothing very good, actually. But quite famous. "A horse is a horse of course of course and no one can talk to a horse of course unless of course the name of the horse is the famous Mr. Ed."

I wonder if I remembered those lyrics right.

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Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield puts Western Stars in his Top 20 Albums of the Year list

Quote

 

Bruce Springsteen, ‘Western Stars’

His best album of the century is also his riskiest. In the wake of his solo Broadway show and his memoir Born to Run, Springsteen moves into early 1970s SoCal pop, strings and all. Back in the days of Darkness on the Edge of Town, this could have been the music playing inside that Camaro with that dude from L.A. But he relishes the chance to play these seedy West Coast dreamers, especially the washed-up actor in the title song — popping pills on the set, as “the make-up girl brings me two raw eggs and a shot of gin.” It’s no coincidence “Western Stars” has an echo of his Nebraska classic “Highway Patrolman” — these guys are both working men doing a dirty job, because a crucial part of them just ain’t no good.

 

 

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After over a month gone without a proper listening to the album, I chose Western Stars today during work. It blew my mind away all over again. 

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:33 PM, Silvia said:

After over a month gone without a proper listening to the album, I chose Western Stars today during work. It blew my mind away all over again. 

I'm looking forward to hearing it tomorrow after a few weeks of deprivation, when I too can enjoy it all over again:-)

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I kept my promise to myself, and played the Original studio 'Western Stars' cd and then the 'Songs from the Film' soundtrack.

The Original is like a decompression chamber for me, easing me out of the fraught everyday into the bliss of Bruce: each song is like a facet of a well-cut and polished jewel, scintillating and gleaming in individual perfection and making a beautiful whole. Gorgeous.

The 'Songs from the Film' cd is a bonus, and hearing the songs performed live in this way is an extra treat, but the Original studio cd in its entirety remains essential listening for me.

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On 1/23/2020 at 2:21 AM, JoleBlonAlba said:

I kept my promise to myself, and played the Original studio 'Western Stars' cd and then the 'Songs from the Film' soundtrack.

The Original is like a decompression chamber for me, easing me out of the fraught everyday into the bliss of Bruce: each song is like a facet of a well-cut and polished jewel, scintillating and gleaming in individual perfection and making a beautiful whole. Gorgeous.

The 'Songs from the Film' cd is a bonus, and hearing the songs performed live in this way is an extra treat, but the Original studio cd in its entirety remains essential listening for me.

Exactly how I feel.... This album STILL floors me on every listen.

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8 hours ago, SteveJhb said:

Exactly how I feel.... This album STILL floors me on every listen.

Same here.  

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I don't know if this means much, but apparently there is a UK Americana Album Chart.

"Americana music is defined as contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues. The genre is spotlighted with the weekly Official Americana Albums Chart (published every Friday at 5:45pm on OfficialCharts.com), compiled by the Official Charts Company in collaboration with the Americana Music Association UK (AMA UK). The chart, based on sales and streams provides a bespoke, UK-relevant twist featuring traditional Americana artists and contemporary acts whose work is influenced by Americana."

Anyway Western Stars was

"the top-selling Americana album of the year by some distance - Western Stars outsells the rest of the Americana Top 10 list combined."

https://www.officialcharts.com/chart-news/the-uks-official-top-40-biggest-americana-albums-of-2019-revealed-featuring-bruce-springsteen-van-morrison-jade-bird-and-kiefer-sutherland__28476/

Top 10 (full top 40 at the link)

1 Western Stars, Bruce Springsteen

2 Three Chords And The Truth, Van Morrison

3 Jade Bird, Jade Bird

4 No Man's Land, Frank Turner

5 III, Lumineers

6 Reckless & Me, Kiefer Sutherland

7 So That You Might Hear Me, Bear's Den

8 Down The Road Wherever, Mark Knopfler

9 Threads, Sheryl Crow

10 Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood

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Those Van and Bruce albums qualify as Americana?! Really?

:o

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9 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

Those Van and Bruce albums qualify as Americana?! Really?

:o

Yes.  My good friend who has her own Bluegrass band (in which Charlie Giordano often guest plays) and she and her husband often guest plays in other bands from country to classic rock said WS is most definitely fits best in the ‘Americana’ category.  

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I knew that Americana was an extremely loose genre, but .......

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1 hour ago, Born To Walk said:

I knew that Americana was an extremely loose genre, but .......

Zero way WS is anything but Americana.   

Description

Americana is an amalgam of American music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the musical ethos of the United States, specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel, and other external influences. Wikipedia

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I (rightly or wrongly) think of The Band as ground zero for Americana...

I see Keb' Mo' won a Grammy for 'Best Americana Album' for his latest, Oklahoma. I wouldn't have thought it Americana but its a good album, I love Keb' Mo', and I'm pleased for him he won.

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I did include their definition of Americana in my post, so it is what it is.  Your own definitions may vary.

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The UK Americana chart only started in 2016.  Western Stars has been at no 1 for 20 of the 32 weeks since its release, Bruce has more weeks at no 1 than any other artist.  Songs From The Film did not appear in the Americana chart but was in the Soundtrack Chart.   I think it is more of an Americana album than anything else but it is unusual as it has so many orchestral instruments.  This together with the fact that he is not an Americana artist probably explains why he was not nominated at the Grammys or in the international categories at the UK Americana awards.

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